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Five characteristics of a great children’s book

Part of writing well is analyzing what works in the stories I admire, love, and that stick in my mind long after I read them.

In May, Publishing Perspectives organized “What Makes a Children’s Book Great?,” a half-day event hosted by Scholastic Inc. For more insight about the topic from publishing experts and authors at the event, read this post by Dennis Abrams at Publishing Perspectives.

Richard Robinson, President and CEO of Scholastic Inc., shared these characteristics of what makes a children’s book great.

A great book:

  1. Contains a simple and original idea presented with clarity and great power.
  2. Connects with the reader, asserting its world directly into the reader’s mind.
  3. Makes the world seem larger and more interesting.
  4. Is written with humor and a light touch.
  5. Is a realization of a complete but very different world.

These five elements of a great children’s book spurred me to think of some of my favorite books.

“From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E.L. Konigsburg

“Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh” by Robert C. O’Brien

“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo

What are some of your favorite children’s books?

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. I like the girly stuff…but I write middle grade so most of what I’m reading are chapter books. I did love Coraline but I wish I’d read it before seeing the movie. You’re right…the best books are the ones with simple ideas. I think it’s important to try to keep the # of characters to a minimum, as it gets hard to keep up with too many names!

    July 9, 2012
  2. Reblogged this on BookRepublic.

    July 10, 2012

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  1. What makes a book GREAT? | Read a Great Book

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